Stranded In Bear Canyon

Chapter 17

"How long has it been?"

"4 hours and 17 minutes, Junior."

"That's a long time." Johnny mumbled to himself as much as those around him.

"Maybe they're just being careful." Roy responded. "They had a lot of work to do on him and with that big of a wound, you know he's getting a blood transfusion."

At that moment the door opened and Dixie and a very haggard 4 o'clock shadow sporting Dr. Brackett walked in.

Mike was the first to speak. "How's Captain Stanley?"

Dixie moved to Johnny's side and took a seat on the edge of the bed taking a hold of his hand.

Johnny looked at her with sad eyes. " 's bad isn't it?"

Roy was biting his lower lip. Joanne took his hand and gripped it tightly.

Dr. Brackett raked his fingers through his dark unusually unruly hair before speaking. "We've done everything we can for him."

"What the hell does that mean?" Johnny asked; his frustration showing.

"It means that we've sutured his wound; we've set his arm; we're working on rebuilding his fluid levels but he's just not responding. Joe's doing a CT scan on him right now but we don't know why he's still unresponsive. His skull and neck x-rays were negative which was good but we need him to wake up to see how he is. His blood pressure is still a little low but with all he's been through it's to be expected."

"Can we see him?" Roy said in nearly a whisper.

Dr. Brackett grimaced. "He'll be in ICU for another 24 hours… at least….. then we'll see how he does."

"Don't worry guys. I traded shifts with Alice and I'll be in ICU all night tonight; he'll be in good hands." Dixie said hoping to provide a little relief for the weary firefighters.

"You'll keep us up to date on how he's doing?" Mike asked hesitantly.

"I'll come see you guys on my breaks and I'll let you know how he's doing."

"Thanks, Dix…. that means alot to us." Roy said speaking for the group.

"You know I'll do anything for my favorite fire station. Now I want you guys to all get some rest. My break will be around 6pm and I'll see you then." Dixie combed the hair away from Johnny's eyes and smiled down at him. "It'll be okay, tiger… you'll see." She whispered.

Johnny closed his eyes as Dix comforted him and his drugs took him off to sleep. She stood up then she and Kel exited ward 51 to have their own private conversation in the hallway.

"I don't like this, Dix. If we lose this one I think we'll lose them all."

"Those men are closer then brothers. We need to get Hank through this." She agreed.

"Well I agree with you there but there really isn't much more we can do for him. We'll just have to wait until he's ready. I'm going to head down to the lockers to get a shower and then I'll be on the couch in my office if you need me."

Dix stared at him a minute and then reached up and kissed his cheek.

"What was that for?" He smiled.

"For staying….I know you were supposed to go golfing with the senator today and you
and I were supposed to have dinner at Dino's tonight."

"Well they're my favorite fire station, too." He said returning her gesture with a kiss on the cheek.

Dixie blushed. "You need a shave… now get out of here. I have a captain to look after."

"Call me if you need me."

"Okay." She replied heading toward the elevators.

Dixie arrived at ICU and met up with Alice. "Okay Alice… you can head down to the ER." Dixie advised.

"Thanks. I've been trying to find a way to meet that cute paramedic; Dwyer I think is his name."

"Good luck on the date front; he seems like a really nice guy." Dixie said through her dreamy smile.

"Here's Captain Stanley's chart. He just came down from his CT scan. I got to go." Alice said handing Dixie the chart before she left.

"Thanks." Dixie took the chart with her as she went into Hanks room to update his vitals. She recorded all of his numbers quickly and then found herself reading through the file.

Captain Henry Martin Stanley. Address 1551 South Eddington Ave. Carson, California. How ironic is that house number? She thought to herself. Dark brown hair, hazel eyes , I would give anything for you to open those eyes, age 38, height 6'2"weight 175 marital status single. Allergic to bee stings… prescribed an epi-pen.

As she turned to the next page she relived his trip to the ER after being electrocuted at the scene of a traffic accident. You were a guest of Chez Rampart for 2 days that time.

She read quickly through the notes on his current trip to Chez Rampart and then put the chart in its holder at the foot of his bed. Dixie looked back down at her charge and couldn't help but notice how much younger Hank looked as he lay there unconscious.

"Thirty-eight, huh? You look more like 30." She reached down and straightened his blankets and checked his IV sites. "Everything looks good here. Let's just change out that almost empty bag of plasma."

She grabbed a new bag of plasma and switched them over. "That's better…. now let's get you cleaned up so when you wake up your men will see that you're gonna be alright."

Dixie got Hank cleaned up and he never even stirred. She finally took a seat next to Hank finding that she had nothing left to scrutinize on her only charge for the night. "I guess I'm used to more action in the ER." She reached over and combed through Hank's dark hair much the same way as she did with Johnny. She leaned down and talked softly to him. "I know you can hear me in there and I know that
you have been through alot but you have to keep fighting. We need you here. I know when we were talking and I told you that your men were all safe, you felt that your job was done and you could let go. That isn't true. Your men need you to pull through here. They're worried sick about you. What you did for your men was just….." Dix stopped and wiped her eyes. "I don't know how you found the courage to cut that line like that but that kind of courage doesn't quit. You rest now and heal but I expect you to come out of this, you're a fighter."

There was a knock on the door and Debra the swing nurse came in.

"Hi, Debra."

"Break time. Anything I should know?"

"Everything is up to date in his chart. Keep an eye on him Debra…. he's special.